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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  August 8, 2011 8:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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would probably have the same concern, but the same business as i mentioned earlier, the of business needs to do better security. they know that they're doing business for the government or other companies hinge on how well if they are doing the right thing. so once again, for them to do it. >> it's existed now for many years and i think everyone acknowledges from this point it hasn't caught in the country to where it needs to be otherwise we wouldn't need to be doing all of this. >> i agree but i don't think the awareness has been there. it's sort of a let's build it and rolled out and secure it later on. there is a full recognition now particularly large businesses that they can't continue to do business that way. it's too competitive. they now have to design the and for stricter. so when you look at the voluntary regime that we proposed on of legislation, they have to prove that they are doing the right thing. modeling to us but for the public at large. public at large. ..
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>> host: thank you for being on the communicators and correspondence for the intelligence correspondent for the "wall street journal," thank you as well. this has been week one in our four week series on cybersecurity. next week, two members of congress on the legislative proposal. republican of texas, jim lavegin, democrat of rhode island.
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>> in a few moments our specialbooktv and prime time schedule begins.
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>> next, investigative reporter on her book "area 51: uncensored history of america's top military base". she spoke for an hour. >> good evening, everyone, and i wanted to thank the commonwealth club for having me and everyone for being here. it's a real author's dream to have a full house for a book speaking event, and thank you, gill, for having me on the show and moderating tonight. we'll get to questions because people love to ask questions. i certainly do, and i wouldn't be here without that sense of
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curiosity so what i'm going to start with is actually read you two photographs from my book, but i'm going to set the stage so to speak a little bit first and let you know where area 51 is other than in people's imaginations because it really does exist. it's located in southern nevada about 75 miles north of las vegas and on a bigger parcel of land that is the largest federally restricted piece of real estate in the united states. it's about the size of connecticut, and it's called the nevada test and training range. inside of the nefs test and training range, there's a 1,350 square mile parcel called the nevada test site that's divided into quadrant. the numbers have shifted and gone under ground throughout the years, but they are 1-30 with
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some mysteriously missing. area 51 sits just outside of the nevada test site, but inside the greater land parcel that is the nevada test and training range, and it is there that many -- it is there that my book, the basis of my book centers, and that's where many of the most secret and perhaps most alarming national security projects took place, but also many of the most fan fantastic ones that kept us all safe, arguably kept us out of world war iii with the russians, helped our pilots in vietnam, some really great things went on there and probably continue to go on there today, but with that said, i'm going to read you two paragraphs in my book that really speak to what the book is, and when i was researching the book, i was able
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to interview a total of 74 men who had rare, unprecedented access to area 51, 32 of whom lived and worked at the base for extended periods of time, and 20 of them i tell their stories, their characters in the book, and one i'll read about is a pilot, a cia pie loll named ken collins, and he's flying the a-12 oxcart which is the -- was the cia's original mock iii spy plane that flew at 90,000 feet, so it's three time the speed of counted and 90,000 feet is 17 miles up. this was in the 1960s, so it was radical science and technology at the time, and the spy plane was built to take over after the
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u-2 spy plane program was outed when gary powers was shot down over the sovietupon. i write, "collins pushed the aircraft through mock 2.8 and soon he'd be out of the danger zen. nearing 85,000 feet, the black dots began to appear on the aircraft windshield, spore rattic at first like the first drops of summer rain. only a few months earlier, scientists had been baffled by those black dots. they worried it was some kind of high atmosphere corrosion until the mystery was solved in the lab. it turned out the black spots were dead bugs that were cycling around in the upper atmosphere blasted into the jet stream by the world's two superpowers rally of thermonuclear bombs. the bugs were killed in the
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bomb's blast and sent aloft to 90,000 feet in the ensuing mushroom clouds as they gained orbit. when i first game across the detail, i found it incredible. i thought to myself what on earth or that high up are bugs doing, dead bugs, and i didn't understand being 43 years old, not having lived through the cold war to the extent that many of my sources did, i wondered -- well, i was 40 when i started the book, but i wondered -- it didn't make sense why the bugs were there and it's an analogy about what area 51 is. it was set up to conduct espionage on the soviet union. the cia began building its base there in 1955 with the u-2 spy plane because the cia wanted to spy on russia and see what they
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were doing, and one of the other men i enterer intiewed in -- interviewed in my book was harvey stockman who just passed a few months ago. ment men i interviewed with really in the last chapter of their lives, but herbie explained what it was like to be the first man to fly over the soviet union in a u-2, and yes, he agitated the russians greatly and there was fallout between the eisenhower administration and the soviets because of the spying going on, but at the same time what he brought back in the film canisters of his u-2 was over 400,000 square feet of film, of spy footage about what was going on in the soviet union, and as he said to me that the cia was able to learn and understand that, in fact, the
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soviets were not lining up for world war iii as many members of the air force wanted to believe. certainly, general lemay, a character in the book as well, you may call him an antagonist. when you consider the cia's job is to present intelligence to the president based on fact, not fiction or not speculation, that is what the u-2 spy plane certainly did for us, and i think that was an important notion, but at the same time, there were other elements of the government that were really pushing science as i write in the book, and here's where i get into the more dangerous areas and some of the questions that i would like readers to be able to ask of themselves. about whether or not pushing science is necessarily a good
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thing. right around that same time or actually if you back up a bit, after awhile of world war ii, there was an anatomic bomb, and then when we found out the russians also had an atomic bomb in 1949, there was a big movement towards creating the thermonuclear bomb which is how the bugs got so high up. the father of the atomic bomb at the time opposed that on moral grounds. he said-not a good idea to create a weapon that was larger than its target. in other words, the tear moo nuclear bomb is so big that it would not wipe out a military installation, but a whole city. the thermonuclear bomb that sent the bugs aloft that ken flew through was a thermo nuclear bomb that was 10 megaton, and
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it's big enough if it's dropped on manhattan, it would wipe out five burroughings silling 75% of the population down to washington, d.c. over a period of time. in my book, i think, one of the more interesting analogies i came across was that in area 51, here we were trying to prevent war so to speak. that's what the cia was doing with the espionage plat norms, and on the other side at the test site, the atomic energy commission and the department of defense were practicing how to have a nuclear war. this spy plane that ken collins was flying was called the a-12 oxcart and people have not heard of it because it was only declassified by the cia in 2007, 50 years after its drawings and
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one of characters in my book is the physicist who did the draws and helped build it for the cia, but this idea that you could have these two notions working at once is a limit complicated, preventing a war but preparing to have one. the point bout the oxcart, you have probably never seen or heard of it maybe, but it's cousin is famous, and that is -- i don't know if this is a military crowd, but it's the fr-71, the air force's famous blackbird that went mock iii and it's interesting because it actually stood for originally reconnaissance strike, but president johnson when he announced it bungled, and they didn't want to correct the president, so they corrected the plane. [laughter] reconnaissance strike meaning so that when the air force decided
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to take over the cia's espionage program, their idea was to have it be a spy plane that could go in and photograph post nuclear site to figure out what to follow up the bombing with, and i think that's one of the more interesting parts or perhaps more provocative parts of my book that i hope people will read and think about which is how these different federal organizations that we have work together, fight with one another on these secret programs that on balance perhaps keep us safer and for nationally secure, but sometimes enter into the area of recklessness, and i write about that in the book also, some of the weapons test that we did out there were in my opinion
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wreckless, one of which there was a program that we had called project 57, and i tell the story through the eyes of the security guard who worked on that program. he was also the first security guard at area 51 during the u-2 program. he worked overtime to buy a new car and agreed to moonlight this project 57 which was the idea that the defense department had, well, what would happen in america -- this is 1957 by the way, what would happen if one of our planes carrying a nuclear weapon would crash on american soil? would it explode? create a dirty bomb environment in they didn't know, and they wanted to find out, so at the very edges of area 51 in a land parcel called area 13, they decided to do what they called a safety test, and in essence they set off a dirty bomb out there,
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and they contaminated 895 acres with plutonium that is still contaminated out there, so the idea of what is keeping us safe, what is purring science, what is reckless, what is important, all kind of comes together in what i think is the enigma of area 51. i could go on for a very long time. i wrote a 500-page book and it's filled with stories, but to keep me on track i'll take questions from the audience, and we can start a dialogue. >> we got questions coming up. >> okay. >> that's okay. this is actually interesting because it goes to the heart of your book, a lot of which is about secrecy and how off budget this operation was. person asks what percentage of the cia budget was area 51 and how was it justified?
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you write in the book the cia is certainly running area 51 a large part of this and one of the controversial things from your book comes from the atomic energy commission. >> that's right. they are now known as the department of energy. they changedded their name four times over the years to -- you change the name of something enough times maybe people forget about it, but the original part of your question that i wanted to speak on that because it's very interesting. there's one of the people in my book that i write about at length, although he's passed, but he was the sort of the first man to run area 51 for the cia and his name was ratched bissel and he was famous for a number of things, but he ultimately had to step down for taking all the blame for the bay of pigs. in my book, i explain he got the bad wrap on the bay of pigs, but so it goes when you work in that
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kind of a business. asking about where the budges came from, i found out in my research, richard bissell was a brilliant economist, a yale graduate and became the executor of finance for the marshall plan after world war ii. there was something like $13 billion that was at the disposal of richard bissell to help rebuild europe, and a friend came knocking at his door one night in washington, d.c., a man by the name of frank widnor and they sat in front of the fireplace and he said, you know, we need money for this group we have over at the cia, and because they had a mutual friend, bissell knew better to ask more questions and just agreed that that would be all right, and that -- those funds were diverted over from the marshall plan to the cia about
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two and a half years later, bissell became the so -- so board nant and area 51 was up and running. >> okay. several people want you to cut to the little men. >> uh-huh. [laughter] >> i told anni before we started the left time i started, he complained to me about a brilliant book on the civil rights movement and all anybodimented to ask about about martin luther king's personal life. here come a bunch of questions. >> okay. >> who were the little men seen at roswell or the first chapter, can you comment on the ufo connection to area 51, what about the ufos and aliens, what about it? go for it, annie.
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[laughter] >> curious crowd. nobody wants to hear about war weapons when there's little green men to talk about. first, i want to say something about my sources because this is important to me, and it's important to me as a journalist. i interviewed a lot of men for this book as was said. the largest number of men that have gone on record about area 51 and they all go on record using their names, and there's one exception, and that is the source that i write about in the last seven pages of my book that many people want to know about, and this source remains anonymous for reasons of safety and security, and also because that program, the program that he discussed with me has not been declassified per se, and it's an interesting distinction as a journalist to make between being able to source your
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source's information up against declassified documents as i did with the first 367 pages of me book, national archives, library of congress, declassified documents with the cia, atomic energy commission, department of defense, intelligence agency, and our own nsa. i can go on and on, a lot of late nights looking at documents, and then there's a point in the book where i make a shift in the way i wrote the book. everything in the beginning is written in a traditional journalist form where you annotate everything and be sure where your sources come from. at the end of the book, i lean into the reader and i say, okay, that's not why area 51 is still classified.
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area 51 has never been admitted to by any organization in the government, and that's a fact. they. any of the documents have the word area 51 blacked out or redacted and refer to it as the test facility or the site, but it's only ever located in print twice by me, and i believe those were obviously errors, so why keep this base secret? i lean into the reader and say, here's why i think the base is secret, and this came to me from a source, and in the last seven pages, i tell you what the source said to me, and i'm very clear to make clear that there is no documents to fact check this up against while i did get some very what i consider to be corroborating suggestive evidence in archives, the actual story is from one man's oral history. the source was an engineer for
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eg and g meaning he had a top secret clearance and also a cue clearance for handling nuclear secrets, and i examined the sources medical records, his war records, looked at the documents that he was, the certificates and awards begin by the atomic energy commission. he worked for the commission across three decades as a contractor. he was a member of the manhattan project, and the source told me that in 1951, he was won of five engineers that was asked to solve what is called a wicked engineering problem, and a wicked engineering problem means that it's something that no one has figured out, and it needs to be solved, but solving that problem will create its own new set of problems, and the source told me that he was one of the five people who received the
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equipment from wright patterson air force base, and that's originally what cay crashed in roswell that was a circular aircraft, but it was not from mars, but russia, and it was actually originally a third design, and what i write in the book discusses how a program called operation paperclip was put into effect after the war where america pillageed scientists to head up the aerospace programs and many of our military programs. warner von brown is the best example designing the v-2 [audience reacts] rocket -- v-2 rocket for hitler. they pillaged the scientists they could get their hands on, and so this flying disk according to the engineer was
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something that had crashed in new mexico, and the intent was for it to be a hoax, that stalin and again in 1947 here talking about the roswell crash, 1947, stalin did not yet have an atomic weapon. truman did. they were bitter rivals, and so stalin made a move, fired a warning shot over truman's bow so to speak saying you have the atomic bomb, but i have psych psychological warfare. he wanted to send this flying disk to land in new mexico and have people come out that looked like aliens, and the engineer told me that the child-sized pilots inside were the results of ghastly human experiments in the soviet union, and that's what he told me, and i repeat it
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in my book because i wrote the uncensored history of area 51, not the censored history, and many people take umbridge with that and guys have said to me we were john wayne out there saving the free world, and no one likes to hear about this kind of possibly, this kind of ghastly goings on in the desert, but this is what my source told me. i stand by his veer rasety, and it's what i wrote in the book and it's what a lot of people are very spectacle of, and at the same time want to know more about. >> if the -- let me ask one follow-up before we get to the next one. so the reason, then, if it was not aliens, it was panic of the population of keeping this a
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deep dark season would have been what? for keeping this particular program, reverse engineering this disk, the idea the russians were doing this and caught red-handed, why keep it a secret? wouldn't that be a victory? look how awful stalin is, he took papers that were stolen, and this would have been a great propaganda victory for the united states. >> absolutely. that's a question i asked my source repeatedly. i interviewed him for over 100 hours across what i write in the book is 18 months, and now it's been more than two years. we would discuss nuclear weapons, a lot of things that i would fact check, and at the end of our several hour interview, i would say, can i ask you another question about the subject that we're not allowed to talk about, and he said yes. that's the question i asked often, and now, remember keep in
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mind that this individual also participated in the program, so he was, according to him, a firsthand witness reversed engineered this craft, received the people that were the child-sized aveuater, and i asked that question, and he finally gave me an answer that i write in the book, and he said because we were doing the same thing. the idea that the american scientists wanted to also push science. they didn't want the soviets ahead of us in any program whatever it may be, and i do want to say a note on that because another journalist said to me, you know, how dare you accuse the united states government of such horrible things, and my answer to it was, and i spend quite a bit time writing about this in my book, while i don't claim to be able to speak for the technology in the flying craft or certainly
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the kind of medical experiments that would create that kind of an alien-looking person, what i did speak to and write about and what i do fact check and source is what the atomic energy commission did during its tenure, and the reckless human experimentation that they did. there's, you know, president clinton put together a commission in the 1990s after a reporter revealed that the atomic energy commission had been experimenting, injecting retarded children with plutonium at a state school in massachusetts, and i see all the faces, and everyone is like, god, how horrible, and people don't want to hear about that and turn the other way and say, that's just horrible and just go on, and, you know, i felt as a journalist that by, ill what my source told me, and i believe that what he told me, the reason he told me what he told me because it was a matter of
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conscious. the other four engineers are dead, and so it's just him. he was very clear about that, and so if a debate or a discussion ensues as to whether or not this kind of a program could go on, how long it went on for, i feel that's an important discussion and it's why i chose to write about it in my book. >> you're listening to the commonwealth public radio program, our guest today is annie jacobsen. if the contents and activity is less shocking after all these years, why does the government maintain so much secrecy? >> we touched upon that as well, but i take the reader all the way up through the 80s, one of the last programs i wroi about is the f-117 bomber, that sort
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of diamond-shaped stealth bomber that was famous in gulf war i developed out in area 51 after the air force took over and sort of replaced a lot of camera bays with weapon bays, but what has been going on since the war on terror begin is certainly out of my need to know, and none of that, i didn't have any sources tell me what was really going on there now because that really is obviously of national security concern because we're fighting the war on terror, but it's a place where the drones are test flown, and i also write another interesting story from right about 1998 when drones, everyone is familiar with them now because they are used in pakistan, but they began with platforms that only carried cameras. they were used in the s
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kneian complex, and they were not interesting to many people other than the cia, awe around the late 90s, this unknown terrorist named bin laden appeared on the scene, and the cia wanted to -- they were considering assassinating him with a drone, and the way they would do it is attach missiles to the drone, and this was kind of a radical idea so they god together the cia and the air force, and they decided to engineer these hell fire missiles, the missiles are so accurate the fire comes from fire and forget. the president's concern at the time was well, this character is known to do a lot of falkan hunting with members of various middle east royal families and what if someone is at his compound and so they built a
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mock up of bin laden's afghanistan farm which was called tarnac farms and that's how they practiced how to asac enate him -- assassinate him without collateral damage. this was before 9/11. at the end of the experiment, the state department was involved and there's a lot of legalities about asac enating -- assassinating someone so they decided not to do it. >> how can area 51 screats be kept from an american president? >> that's a very tricky and uncomfortable question certainly for this journalist, but in the very beginning of the book, e explain to you something i found really pretty shocking when i learned it in researching this book that the atomic energy commission actually has a system of secret keeping that runs parallel to the president's system of secret keeping which
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is the national security system. that is not the way the constitution was written, but it is what the atomic energy agent of 1946 allowed, so when the charter was written right after world war ii for the atomic energy commission, they created the system of secret keeping which the slang for it is called born classified. scholars who looked into this secret keeping system say that it allows them to have unanswerable authority, and that is certainly the case, and that is why the atomic energy commission was able to do so many things. the bomb test i told you about sending the bugs up to 90,000 feet, that thermonuclear bomb test involved 12,000 people in the middle of the pacific ocean. no one knew it was going on when it went on, so secret keeping it
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an important part of area 51 for some reason, but it's also not a good situation for other reasons, and it is the source who tells me the story in the end and i asked him, you know, looked into the crimes of atomic energy commission, how come he didn't find out about the rogue program that involves roswell, and i was told he almost found out bout it, but he didn't have a need to know. >> a question that goes back to the ufo story. why would stalin send the craft to new mexico instead of a more populated area? >> that's not an answer i have. i'll ask the source -- i was kidding. no, i don't, you know, the thing i write in the end of the book is i'm very clear about saying
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he said this, and according to the engineer. there are some places in the epilogue where i speculate about things, and i go to some of my other sources and ask them. i ask the physicist, okay, could we really have had a stealthy flying disk? the physicist who worked if the cia had an interesting answer saying he recalled sometime in the 1950s kelly johnson, the head of works who built planes for the cia, kelly johnson had radar test round shape aircraft, and at the end of the day they decided it just wasn't -- it just wasn't, you know, appropriate for a pilot to fly. it was a dangerous thing for a pilot to fly, so, i have as many questions as i have answers. i have more questions than i have answers, but i don't have the answer to that one. >> you write in the book the
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roswell air base was an important base. it was not an unimportant area in terms of national security. >> it was the most important area in the united states. las almos is where the testing was and roswell was the base of the 509, the bomber group. one of the guys i interview in the book is an amazing legend, colonel richard leghorn. he's 92 now and writing a paper on my book according to his secretary. [laughter] he just did an interview with the "capecod times" talking about my book, and he is accredited in general with inventing the concept of overhead. our first post-nuclear -- post-war nuclear test was in 1946 in the pa sighing called
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operations crossroad, and colonel leghorn was involved with photographing those bombs from the air, and my interview with him was amazing. he explained to me how the base from which they left with all the camera equipment was the rose army air base -- roswell army air force base because at the time that was the only military base that had bombers ha could carry nuclear weapons. that area of new mexico could not have been more important to national security in 1947. >> somebody wants to know if it's possible, you answer this in the book, that many ufos were and are military aircraft that the united states has been lying about. >> absolutely. one of the things i was absolutely able to source was the cia's obsession with ufos starting in the 1950s and they created their own ufo department
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based on declassified documents. it's funny to read through them because the guys in the cia in the 1950s were really still gentlemen spies and fancied themselves, you know, on the ground spies, and this idea of science and technology was there and you see in the memos where they have to deal with ufos saying why can't the air force handle this? in fact, out at area 51, the u-2 spy planing thed for over 50% of all ufo sightings on the west coast. it flew at 70,000 feet, which is about 1 # miles up, and when it was flying up in the sky, it looked like a giant silver hawk, and you can imagine people on the ground seeing something up that high would wonder, and then, of course, it happened in the 1960s when this incredible cia spy plane called the oxcart
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was flying at mock iii higher up, and there's a couple great accountings from the guy -- accounts from the guys in my book. colonel slater is a cold war hero, the commander of the base for a number of years in the 60s, and he explained to me how often commercial airline pilots would be flying on the west coast, let's say at dusk at 30,000 feet, and they would see the oxcart fly over head at 90,000 feet at mock iii, and people in the plane would see it as well, and the pilots radioed in ufo, and colonel slater had to send the fbi to wherever it was the plane was landing and make the pilots and people sign disclosure forms letting them know they would be in serious trouble if they told anyone about that. these things certainly added to
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the ufo lure and mythology. >> you have five oxcarts that crashed and as they went out to get the titanium covers and obviously these secret people went out in the desert and people saw them and it all looked like they were getting something secret, which it was, but not a flying saucer which brings us to the question why in your opinion has area 51 become such a popular element in u.s. and global popular culture? >> most assuredly because of the conspiracies attached to it. we talked about the ufos and the aliens, but there's two other big conspiracy theories that embedded themselves into area 51. they are the lunar landing was faked and filmed at area 51. that's a big one. i interviewed a lot of
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conspiracy theorists for the book and interviewed the second man on the moon and found his testimony more believable than the other people. [laughter] that's just the journalist in me, but the thread, the link there is that the over at the nevada test site, the neighbor to area 51, is there's giant craters from the io tommic -- atomic bombs. i was lucky enough to go there with the guys who are in my book, and these craters are these giant cavernous things that look very much like the surface of the moon. i interview a man named ernie williams, the tour guide for the apollo astronauts in the late 60s and early 70s, they went to the test site and put mockups on the back that they wore on the
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moon when they went there. the point is to roam around the geology of the lunar landscape, and i have some great photographs in the book of that, but i think that this gave way to some of the conspiracies about the lunar landing, and another one i'll touch upon was the -- a lot told me that area 51 is filled with underground tunnels, and that tease tunnels connect to other military bases across the country. what i found out was there are a lot of underground tunnels, certainly at the nevada test site under area 12 and 11. one of the tunnels is 4,500 feet deep. that's very deep. starting in the late 1950s, the department of defense and the atomic energy commission used the tunnels to explode nuclear weapons to see what happened to different pieces of military
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equipment, to see what could survive and whatnot. that's where that mythology, i believe, comes from. >> there's something in the book that no one will ask about unless they read it, but talking about the scientific recklessness, something i never knew before reading this, was we did a high al constitute test that they knew could damage the o zone layer, but they just wanted to see what happened. true? >> when i heard about this i wondered whether when growing up in the 70s, we were told we couldn't use aerosols anymore. i said, it's not the deodrant. i heard this from the weapons engineer who actually wired the bomb, but there's two tests code named pink and orange, and they took place down in johnston
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island in the pa sighing, not area 51, but the crew who worked regularly at area 51 wiring bombs went down there, and the idea, the president's science adviser at the time, he had such power and persuasion with the president that anything he did, he did not have to report to congress. later in his memoirs, he admits maybe that wasn't a good idea, but at the time, he authorized this two-headed nuclear weapons test, megaton thermonuclear bombs. one was set up 28 miles up, another one 50 miles up, but 28 miles up is right where the ozone layer is, and at the time, there was -- i found in the declassified documents there was
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discussion among the scientists what might happen and could we make a hole in the ozone layer. this was an actual discussion, and the answer was yes, we could, but we believe the bomb turbulence would close the hole if it were made, so they went ahead with the test. >> there's question about sources. if everyone's interviewed is sworn to secrecy, how is everything valuable and believable, and variation on that, do you have a top secret clearance, and if not, what makes you think these people you interviewed told you the truth? >> what's interesting is some of the things i've been talking about like the project 50s and the dirty bomb test that spread plutonium over 895 acres up there, people have asked that same question. well, that's not classified.
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those documents i located in the atomic energy commission archives. i even located photographs, but it didn't look to me like anyone else had looked at them, and i actually had a really difficult time trying to find them, but once i was able to find someone who had knowledge of that and knew it had been declassified, i was able to talk freely about him with that program, and he was able to give me some key words that allowed me to look up the program and access it. the program is called project 57, but everything was classified under 57 project. i mean, organized. so all of the programs that i talk about except for the program in the end have actually been declassified. it's just that a lot of them are kind of hidden or perhaps people were not interested in them, in and of themselves. i think part of what makes my
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book interesting is that i try to give you the whole landscape of area 51 and its nearest neighbors and what was going on there. >> another one about the aliens who were, according to your source not aliens at all. were there autopsy done on the roswell victims? according to the story they livedded, but were -- lived, but were in a coma, and why would their remains still remain classified? >> the first part of the question was what again? >> the first part of the question were there autopsy performed on them. >> oh, that i don't know. they arrived as bodies when they arrived according to my source, and they were comatosed, but still breathing, and one died shortly thereafter according to my source, and the reason why
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the program is still classified according to my source is what we touched upon earlier that the government decided to embark upon its own program. what i'm also going to say at this point which is interesting is one of the most interesting and disturbing pieces of information that my source shared with me was the individual who was the head of the program, and he was in charge of the manhattan project. he was the president science adviser, and he is the one who, you know, wasn't -- was in charge of this program that really is the mother of all black operations, that is the manhattan projects, and all operations trickled down from that original idea in analogy and secrecy. >> you also point out for people who wonder whether something could be kept secret, the
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manhattan project, the budget amount and even the vice president had no idea that the manhattan project was underway. how many people were working and what was the budget? >> it's in the book. [laughter] it was huge. where the plutonium or uranium at the time was being processed in tennessee, that outfit pulled more power off of the united states electrical grid on any given night than the entire city of new york city, and yet no one knew it was there. that's how powerful a black operation can be. the vice president that you're referring to when the manhattan project was originally going on was harry truman. he had no idea about the nuclear weapon until he became president. the person who told him was bush. why name it area 51?
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are there 1-50? if so, explain. >> that's a subject of great debate. a lot of my named sources in the book say that's just a quadrant they come up with, but according to my source in the end of the book, the reason it's named area 51 is because in 1951, the original equipment and the remains of the roswell crash came there. >> have you been called a conspiracy theorist this person asks? the net has been cast so wide and it includes reporters like yourself. in other words, you are thrown in with the 3 a.m. loons. >> i'll let you guys decide on that one. you know, i've been accused of it. i've definitely been accused of being, you know part of the government conspiracy to hyde aliens because my theory does not push the idea that aliens have visited earth, and i did get a letter from a grown up or
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e-mail rather from a group in the u.k. furious with me when my book first published and said even we don't believe you. [laughter] >> the truth is still out there, not here. why did area 51 show up in the wikileaks document? due to weapons testing or about alien life or what? >> that's news to me. i don't know about that, so see me afterwards. [laughter] >> there was a lot of the book -- talking about reverse engineers because it comes up in talking about roswell and things. one of the most significant parts of the book and reverse engineering at area 51, one of the greatest secrets was reverse engineering the mig hand delivered to the israelis. >> it's a great stories. it's one i more favorite. i tell it through an engineer
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who worked at area 51 on a number of projects. in 1966, the story you're talking about made headlines when an iraqi air force colonel defected from iraq to israel in a soviet mig, and at the time no one -- no western, you know, no member of the western world had ever had their hands on one. it's what all the arab nations flew, and it's obviously what the soviets flew, so the massad got a hold of it, it was a big deal to them and helped them win the six-day war, but what didn't make the news was after they were done with it, they made a deal with the cia to bring the mig to area 51, and dt barns was on the team that reverse engineered that, took it down to its nuts and bolts, and looked at it to figure out what made it
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fly, and at the time, we were engaming in the vietnam war, and our pilots over there were getting shot down in this terrible ratio of nine to one and were really losing against the mig. the soviets were supplying the vietnamese with the mig. there was a dog fight while they worked on the it out there in area 51, and after they reversed engineered it, that was called the technical phase, and then they began a tactical phase putting it back together and flew it in mock dogfights, and the skies over area 51 to figure out how to beat the mig in air-to-air combat, and what is not known until now or kind of known only to the men who worked on that program is that that was actually the birth of the famous top gunfighter school. >> there is another thing that
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comes of that being there that almost ousts area 51 and the projects there when a general basically decides to go joyriding in a mig. >> that's right. it's a controversial story. there's a general in charge of the f-117 bomber program out at area 51, and he became enamored with the mig according to source, and he wanted to take it for a flight, and he did, and the mig went out of control and crashed in area 25 next door to -- it's about maybe 20 miles from area 51, and where he crashed was right into this place where another secret program was going on, surprise surprise, and so at the time, it was like my god, there's the mig program, the f-117 program, the nerva program at area 25, we have area 51, and you have a
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general who is dead so newspaper reporter was leaked information that the general had been flying the mig, and that program was outed in that way, and it allowed the other secrets to remain hidden. >> there's a number of questions about the advanced technology created at area 51 like mock iii # speed aircrafts and why this has not been released commercially. question that says it's odd that our current commercial aircraft can only travel as a fraction of these speeds compared to what area 51 technology had half a century ago. >> i'm not a jet engine specialist, but i talked to one who developed the mock iii engine, and it was interesting talking to him about that, but my understanding would be, and it's limited, but that it takes
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so much jet fuel to fly mock iii, the oxcart spy plane was basically a flying fuel tank with a delta shaped wing filled with fuel getting from one cost to another coast in a little over 60 minutes. i don't think that's cost effective on a commercial airline and you would not have any place to put your bags. [laughter] >> plus all that midair refueling. >> that's tricky too. >> yes, and then a couple planes were lost in the stories you tell in the book. >> yes. well, i'll say one other thing. >> sure. >> i became a big fan of the cia's science and technology department i must say because the things that they did out, and they did it in total secrecy without getting any credit for it, but to refuel the oxcourt was such an incredibly fast flying plane, the oxcart had to
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fly at its absolutely slowest speed, and the fuel tanker had to fly at its fastest speed, you know, at the same time, and, you know, the plane, the oxcart would sometimes almost stall. that's how slow it had to go. >> someone in the audience says why do you think the government was prompted to declassify this stuff and provide great stuff for your book? >> well, that's also interesting. they didn't declassify all this stuff. they declassified the a-12 oxcart in 2007. i don't know why. i asked people why, and there's different answers, none of which really answer the question. because if you're trying to keep a base secret, it would make sense not to declassify one of the major programs there, but that is how i was able to speak to ed, the original source, and that is how i was introduced one to the next to the next to the next of all the different
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sources who make up the narrative of my book and to whom i'm very grateful because, you know, it was a real honor and privilege to be able to talk to these men who are really a group of cold war heros, scientists, spies, engineers, physicists who were known only among themselves, and now i think in reading the book you're able to see, have a really interesting window into what it's like to be someone who does all this work for absolutely no glory. ..
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security guards is still classified. but what is classified as the fact the nuclear weapons test engineers on the other side of the fence were working to get a nuclear bomb to a shaft so they could explode on the weapons task so story came from the guys who were over on the other side of the sense who were working on the nuclear bomb, not from the dysart area 51 who can't talk about it. but what happened is there was a weapons test going on, and the measure -- the system of measurement to get a bomb down
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is x number of yards and it has to get to a certain depth before it's considered secured otherwise it could still in essence be hijacked. so there's different layers of security watching this bomb go down and the gentleman in charge of the program my source in the book is in charge of it and there he is waiting for the thing to get down, the thing, the nuclear bomb to get down the hole and he hears suddenly we are under attack. and they have to treat that as if the russians were attacking or an enemy force because it made no sense otherwise, but as it turned out, it was a test by the security people who wanted to see what would be like how the guards of the area 51 would respond to an attack and so they flew a helicopter over the guard gate and for mock shooting at it. the alert went all the way to the white house and according to
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the source, the nuclear subs on the west coast were also put on alert. >> sleep better hearing that. [laughter] and the nuclear weapon at the whole of the time. >> yes, and the test went on by the we. as the mcginn number of questions from people saying -- cheers one of them, many of the projects under difficult and very 51 including the stealth fighter. was the black hawk helicopter used in the osama bin laden read desolate in area 51? >> i would certainly like to know that but i don't have the need to know about that yet. [laughter] sounds like you would be great place -- >> weather technology developed they're going through a variation on the previous question that the aircraft with the technology there, the famous question about teflon and the space program and all of that
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has gotten out into the commercial world at all or whether it's difficult to there is just so secret, which developed a theory 51 stays at area 51. >> that's a really interesting question coming and i haven't heard about any commercial or application. it tends to be military and espionage. >> including the stealth and all of that? >> yes. >> the first attempt of which was apparently, according to the book, something of a disaster. >> yes. they tried to originally make the u-2 stealthy because of the pilots like her feet stockman were flying over the soviet union the soviets were able to track them right away to lead they couldn't shoot them down because they were - up but they were called on board to try to make dhaka u-2 stealthy. it didn't work and one of the pilots was killed flying one of the planes that had been doctored up with some paint that
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was supposed to be camouflaged and instead it made the plane over heat. >> unfortunately we've reached the point there is time for only one more question, and kind of open-ended for you. was there one particular story that you found most shocking or surprising of the things you learned about area 51? >> you know, everything there was told to me was very ornate and very interesting, and i think all circled back to allow me to create the puzzle so to speak, all these individual pieces that in and of themselves for fascinating to understand the bigger picture of erie 51 was what i found the most rewarding certainly at the end to step back and say this makes
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sense and why it's secret and what went on even though i probably only know a small fraction of it. winston churchill once said about coming and he was speaking about russia, she said it is an enigma wrapped inside a puzzle wrapped inside a rebel and he could have been speaking about. 51. >> our thanks to annie jacobsen, los angeles magazine columnist come author of the new look area 51 uncensored history of america's top secret military base. our special booktv prime time programming continues in a few moments with a look at julia
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our special booktv program and continues with jennet conant's account of julia child's work with the office of strategic services during world war ii. ms. child who later became a television personality and cookbook author was involved in the oss covert operations in india and china, where she met her husband, paul. this is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you for venturing out on this rainy spring evening. i think i'm going to start us off by quoting groucho marx to the effect that before i begin talking i have something to say. so the first thing that
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everyone, absolutely everyone asks me is how julia child some six-foot tube with that incredibly distinctive offer the police ever managed to slip incognita behind enemy lines. the answer is simple, she didn't. but we will get to that later. the other thing is despite what you may ever this morning and in the usa today, bone appetit was not a secret code. now, more serious, the most common question that i get is what on earth brought me to this topic, how did i come to write about julia child and more to the point, how do i know that julia child, the popular french chef television fame worked for the country's first intelligence agency? the truth is i read it in the new york post. i happened to see a headline, "secret recipes of spy," and a reported she the been the head of oss, office of strategic service, which does most of you know was hastily set up by president roosevelt in the early
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days of the war. it is the forerunner of today's cia. anyway, i was in washington at the time -- this would have been the fall of 2008 -- and i was on my book tour for that irregulars, which happened to be but a group of british spies in the early days of the oss. and at that time, the national archives released a huge stash of previously classified documents. this was a huge, huge haul of papers, classified records, and a detailed the 24,000 people that had worked for the oss during world war ii. these records identified, for the first time, the vast civilian and military network of operatives who had served their country during the time when was threatened by nazis and by fascists. and some of these people were very notable, but very unusual and the most unlikely agent. yeah among them supreme court justice arthur goldberg, the actor sterling hayden, white sox catcher and the history and
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arthur schlesinger jr. but perhaps the most notable and unusual was a chef, julia child. now julie worked for the oss made headlines across the country. everywhere rent on the book tour the next few weeks people would stop and ask me was she really a spy? what did she do? where did she go? and i didn't know the answer to any of the questions coming and so i began doing some research and one thing or another lead to the beginning of this book. now, like so many wartime secrets, julia child's oss career really was not a secret at all. the basic fact of her intelligence career could be looked up as easily as the ingredients to her recipe for quiche lorraine. late in her life she opened up a bit about her past. she had broken her vow of silence and talked a bit about her oss and mentioned a few paragraphs about it in her memoir "my life in france." it was mentioned in various books, one movie about her and paul had a brief bit about, and
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it was in all the obituaries when she died in 2004. as soon as the huge treasure trove of archives was released, there was great excitement about the new material that might be on a raft and caused a bit of a stir to read after all, the cia held on to the classified documents for many decades and had been reluctant to release them and it took william casey, the former director of the cia intervened and finally convinced them to release the records and they began slowly releasing them in 1981 and the records of the personal or the last batch of papers to be released and julia child's 130 page oss personnel file, a classified document, gave the detail of her dynamic career in the intelligence agency made for some fascinating reading. the first thing that became clear to me as i some through the document is contrary to all the newspaper headlines, julia was never actually spy, but she
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very much hoped to become one when she joined the agency in december of 1942. like so many young people in the wake of pearl harbor, she moved to washington and was determined to try to serve her country. she was single, 30 and unemployed with several failed attempts at a career behind her. she was also looking for a second chance in life, a chance to remake her life, a chance to do something special. she was the daughter of a well-to-do pasadena rancher. she had graduated, but she had spent most of her post college years as she admits as a social butterfly to beat she spent a lot of time playing golf and tennis, attending parties and generally having a good time. she was keeping house for her widowed father and lifting a very sheltered life. she was, by her own account, a pretty plain person with no skills. she didn't speak any languages and she had never been further out of the country than a day trip to tijuana. she always felt she was bigger
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than life. she always thought she was destined for big things. but by 30 come degette miserably failed to materialize. still, she was tall, very athletic, she was sure she would be unnatural for the army or navy reserves. when she was rejected, the form letters came, too tall, the stated. [laughter] she was bitterly disappointed. she used family connections and got a job at the war department. was a low level secretarial job and she was a typist and she lifted and was determined to work like a demon to get promoted. she did and got herself transferred to the offices of the legendary colonel william wild bill donovan, the newly appointed head of the oss, a mysterious and shadow new intelligence agency. well, as one reviewer recently noted, the cloak and dagger business was like bread and butter to the young and juliet. she found a mysterious agency citing a glamorous as she left her brilliant and extend your colleagues. she soon found herself assigned
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to an experimental research project called the emergency rescue equipment section. she was working with an eminent harvard zoologist to get his name was-year-old jefferson coolidge and he was no less than a descendant of thomas jefferson. she was developing a repel that could be rubbed on pilots down at sea to protect them. the conduct it all kind of bizarre experiments in designing the rescue kits and julia's responsibility was to go to the fish market early every morning for the fresh cash. for the first time in her life, she loved her work and felt she had found her niche, the place where she belonged. the oss, for all of its selectivity, was a pretty strange group of people. there were a lot of colorful personalities come and they had that kind of idiosyncratic lenient atmosphere of a small liberal arts college, and it had the same tolerance for oddballs and eccentrics. she heard the donovans idea of the ideal female employee was a cross between a smith graduate,
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a powers model and katie gibbs girl. finally, for once, julia had all the right qualifications triet she even had a private income after her mother's death that made her appear above reproach. the rumor in washington at that time was that donovan only hired people from the ivy league and the junior league because he believed if you were well off you are less susceptible to drives. this didn't make him the least popular and the critics scoffed the oss stood for "au so socially and secret." the actual fact was that the oss did not begin recruiting until well after all of the other services have had their pick, and so, then was forced to scramble to find a real talent. faced with building a huge intelligence gathering operation and administrative bureaucracy virtually overnight, he had to get creative. but he knew the specific skills that he was looking for. he needed someone with the brains to make decisions on the fly, the street smarts to know when to throw out the rule book,
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someone with an abundance of self-confidence and an over developed and underdeveloped sense of fear. of course, these same qualifications could be used to discard any number of very dubious characters and critics leader charged that donovan's lacked standards meant that all sorts of dangerous people were employed as spies. still, donovan began by hiring lawyers from his own wall street firm as well as prominent attorneys from other firms and businessmen that he knew. he recruited a wide variety of academic everything from psychologists and interpol to stand linguists' to mathematicians and even ornithologists who chased rare birds across asia. he recruited an assortment of creative types including artists, painters, writers and inventors. the time being of the essence, simplified the vetting process by keeping it all within the family. if oss had a girlfriend or sister who happened to go to college and have a decent typing speed, she would be brought in and promised a better job and
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faster advancement. if by any chance she had any foreign languages or lived abroad, she would be whisked off to one of their secret schools and start intensive training. now, while working for the oss in washington, june lee became fast times with a number of young women that were actually training to become spies and she was green with envy. one of them was a young woman named jane foster. gene, like julia, was from a wealthy, conservative, west coast family. she was an adventure this california girl, but they're the similarity. jane was widely traveled, she had briefly been married to a dutch diplomat and stationed in shot up and spoke several languages including fluently. jane was everything julie yet felt she was not, wildly sophisticated and loring, would be an outrageous, bold and daring enough to be true mata hari material. while jane -- while julia was stuck collating final, jane was taking a crash course in espionage learning everything
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from forgery, cartography, cryptography, to the fundamentals of what the oss called martelle operations, how to create subversive propaganda and rumor campaigns to demoralize the enemy and create defense. another oss coley became a great friend julie was named betty mcdonald. she'd grown up in honolulu, and she had been a young reporter in one of the very first on the scene after the pearl harbor attack. she was recruited by the oss because of her working knowledge of japanese and her wartime experience. she and julie would disappear, she and jane would disappear weeks at a time on orientation courses and small arms courses where they learn how to master a thompson submachine gun and called 45. now julia was desperate to go to france. but after 17 years of high school and college french, she discovered she couldn't speak a word. she had no special skills to recommend her for overseas service. so when the word went out that donovan was looking for warm
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bodies, anybody, to help set up and run a network of intelligence these is in india, burma and china, she immediately volunteered. she didn't care where she went as long as she got to go and there was a shortage and a newly formed oss was woefully understaffed it's important i think to remember that when you think of the oss, you generally think about the paramilitary and the guerrilla operations. they get all the glory. you know, you think of the guerini images of agents parachuting behind enemy lines. but the fact of the matter is of the 13,000 employees, about 4500 of which were women, the vast majority spent their time writing reports, collecting and analyzing information and planning missions. so the fact that many of the oss's of boxter activities could be conducted from behind the desk meant that the women could be equally as effective. and so, while the majority of
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the women did remain in washington, helping to support the oss's far-flung mission, a very small percentage went overseas, and an even tinier percentage ever went into active operations. but the small percentage that did go overseas, like jane, like julia and betty, they carried out their assignments of the same mixture of audacity, self-reliance and seat of the pants ingenuity that the dawn of an inspired and every one that worked for him. now, julia got her wish and early 1944 and she joined a contingent of all birds that were sent to india. but on the long months long boat trip, her travel orders were changed and she ended up being rerouted because lord louis, the dashing new supreme commander of the combined operations, had decided it would be much nicer, not to mention much cooler, place for his wartime headquarters. now, candy, which was a mountaintop resort that had once been a tea planters oasis, was
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not a hardship post. nestled in the hills was a good thousand miles from the fighting and was a picture postcard pretty. it had a little buddhist temple and a scenic lake where you could get a boat and go rolling with your boyfriend. the personnel was put up in a joint british colonial hotel called the queens hotel. it was run down and overrun with rats and mosquitos but it looked grand. the office headquarters detachment for 04 of the oss and candy, was held on an old ki plantation a little bit out of town, and was made of scattering been depleted huts. the palm trees and the neat little patch of this running between the bungalows and the tidy little green tennis court made the whole place seem more like an island retreat than a wartime headquarters. while the setting was dreamy and romantic, julia's child was anything but. she was put in charge of the oss registry, known as the camp
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nerve center, and it contained all of the most of secret documents. the military plans and operations, classified cables from the joint chiefs of staff in washington, the code books, as well as the locations of all of the oss missions around the world and the real identities and the various code names of the oss agents in the field. it was an important job. it carried a grave responsibilities, and it came with the highest security clearance. julia joked she even developed a high top-secret twitch from analyzing so much highly sensitive material. so, while she was never an operational agent going behind enemy lines, she did become a very able and effective intelligence officer. by her last few months in china, where she served in a remote military outpost at the foot of the burma road, she was working through very, very difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. she carried on through a devastating flood that swamped the base, a raging cholera
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epidemic, an occasional outbreak of crossfire from the chinese revolution that was over running the camp. by the end, she was a seasoned veteran of the oss and she would allow slices of opium to the need of agents from a large loaf which she said reminded her of boston brown bread but which oss staffers euphemistically referred to as the operational payroll. now, julia what often see leader looking back at the war meet me. it was her personal and political coming-of-age. it and used her with a new confidence and curiosity about life and it is where she met her mentor and her soul mate, paul child coming and embarked on a life altering a romance. julia met paul, who designed rooms for the allied general on the porch of a tea planters bungalow in ceylon, and she was immediately smitten. she was 41, a decade older and a head shorter. he was grow weary, withdrawn and
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somewhat difficult. his colleagues regarded him as a loner, moodie and said in his ways, not an easy man, julia confided to her diary. an artist, paul started out by skipping college and running off to work as a sailor. he studied painting and sculpture in paris and spoke impeccable french kid he was a self-taught photographer, black belt, house builder and jack of all trades. he considered himself a connoisseur of the finer things in life. art, food, fashion, poetry, women. she romanced the officers in the attachment and after his initial advances were rebuffed became the best friends with jane foster who described from the diary as a wild messy girl always in trouble, always be an irresponsible he adored and admired her. jane had become famous while infamous in ceylon for her inspired scheme to release
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propaganda materials and encased condoms. her plan was to have a summary released off the coast of indonesia and they would flow to assure bearing their friendly messages of allied support. donovan was skeptical but gave her the green light. [laughter] now during the year they were all in ceylon and jane and paul became inseparable and julia was left to ponder a man who took little notice of her. although it pained her, she wrote in her diary that she knew he was not attracted to her and like to more worldly bohemian types. she was not wrong in this and he did not reciprocate her feelings. paul wrote long letters to his twin brother, charles, in which he raised about her maquette personality and hilarious wartime escapades. and he would note in passing that julia was a nice girl with good legs. she dismissed her as a grown-up little girl, noting that 31 julia was as inexperienced and
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overly emotional and a virgin and was busy trying to be brave about being an old maid. not one to give up and sold, however, julia soldiered on coming into an early 1945, she and paul were transferred to china while jane stayed behind where she was training the need is a chance and of running a subversive radio broadcasts. seizing her chance, julia monopolized paul's detention and went exploring with him to the out of town areas venturing to all kind of back alley chinese and tried to prove her mettle by guaranteed exotic delicacies from bb frog legs and pig's knuckles and sweet and sour sauce this resulted in days of the series commonly known as the rapids and the shanghai shits. [laughter] sorry, can i say that on c-span? [laughter] anyway. she was head over heels in love
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and paul, well, paul was still on the fence. he feared that they were from very different backgrounds, and she dreaded meeting her right-wing father. he worried that julia would revert from being a pasadena socialite at the end of the war. she referred to the peace time lies to see how they like each other in civilian clothes. as they return to the states and the mentor separate ways. paul beckham washington and juliet to california. and she embarked on a mission to win him over. she subscribed to "the washington post" and "the new york times" much to her father's work so she could read what paul read. she even took up the novels of henry miller which she found x-rated but all adored and she took her first cooking lesson so she could make him a homemade kneal when he came to visit. well, after six months of a long-distance courtship and in increasingly steamy correspondence, paul succumbed to julia's charms. he allowed his heart to
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overrule, his hand to overrule his heart, and they were married in september, 1946. in 1948, two years later, the tunnels moved to paris. paul went to work for the usis, which is a branch of the state department, and julia continued her cooking lessons of the kornbluh school to lead the reconnect with their old friend in paris who was a painter, and the founder married to a very odd of russian man, but as paul wrote in his diary that day jane was just as lazy, hazy, in practical and lovable as she had always been. the happiness of their reunion was short-lived, however, as they were all soon embroiled in the red spy scare. in only a few years after the war, the euphoria of victory had been replaced by new fears about the spread of communism and the cold war. ..
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>> he kicked off his anticommunist crusade in 1950 with a peach in -- speech in wheeling, west virginia, and he had a list of communists employed in the state
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department. julia and paul were on the way to their post when the book-burning began. they were banned from the shelves of the usif libraries in europe. paul had to take the books off himself and see that they were destroyed. rumors about where mccarthy's smear tactics might lead spread like wildfire. julia and paul watched in spay as career foreign officers they served for in china, among them some of their closest friendes, were accused of disloyalty and forced out, while others quit in disgust. somehow, mao's victory was being seen as part of a master kremlin plot. enabled by a bunch of secret communists in the state department known collectively has the china hands. j edgar hoover, the ambitious head of the fbi, was out to
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destroy general donovan's reputation, who reviewed as a threat to his espionage empire. donovan started burning the oss records of his former personnel. knowing that many of them, like jane and paul, had been left of center. julia and paul's poignant alerts capture their atmosphere of fear and paranoia that permeated their small diplomatic circle. julia considered mccarthy to be a desperate powermonger and viewed his intimidation was destroying a country she loved. i'm terribly worried about mccarthyism she wrote her friend in 1954. what can i do as an individual? it's frightening. i'm ready to bare my breast, small sitessed though hey they may be. will sacrifice cats, cookbooks,
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husbands, and finally, self. inevidently, jane foster and paul childs became caught in the buzz saw of mccarthy's red spy hunt. on april 7, 1955, paul received an urgent telegram summoning him to washington. their old friend, the reckless and pam flint jane -- flamboyant friend jane faster was being arrested as an spy. when she was arrested in paris, the authorities ransacked her apartment and found paul childs' name in her address book. paul and julia found themselves in the middle of a terrifying nightmare, full scale fbi epsage investigation, lengthy interrogations, and a drawn out, disspiritting state department investigation. friends, neighbors were questioned about paul's past, hi communist proclivities, his
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loose lifestyle, and his latent homosexual tendencies. if you want to have some verbal fun, he wrote julia in kess say, try to prove the two fbi guys you aren't a lesbian. how do you prove it? julia and paul decided they would not be intimidated and chose to stand by their friends and their principles, no matter what the cost. in the chaotic months to come they had to -- -- ultimately, they would also have to come to a very painful decision about what jane was really a soviet spy or the victim of an overzealous fbi and an unscrupulous double-agent. i'd like to say that in the point of this book was to examine the complex issues this close knit group has to face in
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that controversial history yack era, and to explore the spragueing ways that personalities become destiny and how these two very adventurous california girls who came to be wartime friendses and intelligence colleagues came to meet such different fates, one becoming a beloved american icon and the other ending up a lonely compile in -- lonely exile in france. thank you. [applause] >> do we have any questions? no questions? great-yes? >> how long did it take you to write the book? >> it took probably about three years. i had done the previous book about the oss, so i had a great deal of material, which helped
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speed up the process, and i was very into the period and the characters. but the last book i did was from the british side and this is from the american side and is based on paul and julia's diaries and letters and i had a vast and colorful archive to work with. >> were the families any help to you? >> yes. all the families were very cooperative. in fact some of the families, even of minor characters in the book, who were oss colleagues of theirs, who were on the boat to india, work with them in champion, people gave me their letters and diaries, so the vivid descriptions, you get a lot of dialogue and a lot of scenes that make you feel as though you're there? the reason is they're drawn from
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so many die riz because i had so many characters, i limited the number of characters i named but all the incidents were true and happened, and julia stood out for obvious reasons, for her height and her very vivacious personality, and jane, because she was very outrageous and infamous during her time there. so almost everybody had story to tell and an anecdote they remembered. >> that was my question as well. where did you get all the letters? were they found? >> they were from families. after that -- jane foster's family offered me personal letters and diaries. there's a huge archive that paul and julia childs left to harvard. other families also provided me with letters and die riz, and then i did an enormous amount of research in the military libraries, and repositories, where i found all the telegrams and intelligence reports that
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they filed, many of julie's memos, jane foster's reports, all of their superior's reports about them, and so i could really tell they were and what they were dug much of -- doing much of the time they were abroad, and they all stayed close friends and exchanged letters throughout the '50s, and the letters are very moving about their fear of losing their jobs and what is happening to their friend. you can get a feeling for the times. during the time of the inquisition in washington, were the american people sympathetic to julia child? is there any record how they responded? >> it was paul that was taken in for the full loyalty inquiry, and actually because they didn't know it was happens, julia was
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still in europe. they were living in germany at the time, and he got this telegram summoning him back, and the telegram was very vague, and they even thought in the beginning perhaps he was going to be offered a promotion. and when he got there, nobody would talk to him, nobody would meet his eyes or tell him what he was doing there, and it finally became clear he was in some sort of serious trouble, and then he was pull in for this long fbi interrogation, and he cabled julia in germany, saying, it's kafkaesque, and that went on for almost a month. they were able to unite again in paris, and it was several more months until he managed to get himself cleared, though in fact they continually investigated him for the next year. >> so it didn't become public in that sense that there weren't headlines about it. in fact, the sad thing is, hundreds and hundreds of people
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were under investigation in the '50s. the hollywood ten already happened. charlie chaplin had been under investigation for months and had fled to europe. so you had very high profile people that were under investigation every day, and so paul child did not make the news. julia was not famous yet. she hadn't published her cook book. they weren't celebrities but their friends all knew and everybody in the state department knew, and it was humiliating, and terrifying, and they -- paul rightly predicted that his career would probably not recover from it. >> was paul brought before the committee itself or just by the committee investigators? >> he was subjected to a full loyalty inquiry that was the fbi
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investigated him. the united states information service investigated him. his past, going back ten years, and all of that, but he wasn't dragged before a senate subcommittee. in the end, even though they thought he was about as liberal as you could get without being a communist, and they thought he was probably a homosexual and accused him of other sort of nefarious acts, julia was from a wealthy right ring family and her father was one of the earliy supporters of nixon and she pulled every string she could in washington and he was finally cleared. >> what role did paul play in her celebrity? >> that's an interesting question, and a complicated question to answer. if you look at the arc of their
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relationship, she was really a very insecure, as he put it, inexperienced girl when he met her, and she turned herself inside out to become someone he would admire and one day love, and he in a way became her mentor, he eye educated her, shaped her interests, and through that she took up cooking, and fell in love with french cuisine, and she emerged from all of that a completely different person, a much more confident, outspoken, really charismatic individual, and she really credited him so much with that, that when she became a celebrity virtually overnight with the publication of her cookbook -- she worked on it while he supported her for ten years, it took, the first cookbook, and it came out, and it was an overnight success, and she literally stepped from being a nobody into the limelight and
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becoming a celebrity. and it was interesting, she would always you the plural, "we," we did that. in referring to herself and paul because of the tremendous debt of gratitude she felt she owed him. >> i'm interested in the genre, the historical genre. >> that's a good question. i'm from a war family. my grandfather, was the president of harvard when world war ii, in the early days of world war ii, and he was appointed by president roosevelt to be one of the men that led the organization of the manhattan project and the development of the bomb. so, i grew up in the far east, and in came -- cambridge, surrounded by politicians that led the war effort and i got hooked on war stories and war
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movies at an early age, and it just stuck. >> what other books have you written? >> i wrote a book called "tuxedo park" about a group of physicists who began experiments with radar and ultimately would lead the wartime project that developed all of the radar systems that helped win the war in europe. then i wrote a book about the development of the bomb in los alamos, and then i wrote a book about british spies, and the development of the oss, and that was called "the irregulars." so you can sort of see a theme. >> the lady in pink. >> what happened to jane?
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>> i can't tell you that. you have to read the book. but i'm glad you're curious. you have to find out. >> any other questions? yes, sir? >> after these investigations were over, did the help -- >> that's one of the things that sort of very nice about the book, is you see different people's reactions. betty mcdonald went through this whole process as well. in fact she was married to colonel helper hepner who had bn their boss, and he helped burn the papers of the oss personnel before the fbi could get them. but she as well as julia and paul, never became bitter about the u.s. they were very bitter about that period, and they really hated mccarthy, but they stayed very
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optimistic in the ability of people to learn and change and, after all, they all returned to the united states and lived very happily in the united states, from 1960 on. so, they weren't bitter about that but they did have very sad and complicated feelings about the 1950s, even though that's when so much good happened to julia and her career. she would always have very mixed feelings about that period of time. [inaudible question] >> i'm sorry. how helpful was the government to you in getting information? >> well, you don't want to say unhelpful. that's an active term. they make it hard for you.
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i had to order all the oss documents, and then for almost every character in the book, the fbi files. now, jane foster's fbi file is more than 65,000 pages. if you can imagine -- now, as you get further in the book, you'll meet a number of other characters whose fbi files are longer. so, you get these papers in sort of packets at 200 at a time. everytime you request them, you need to wake and it takes three months. it's just a very arduous process to go through what we call the freedom of information act request. it takes the patience of a saint, and you don't get everything, and when you do get the fbi files, they're redacted. a lot is blacked out. whole sections are whited out. then you can go through a whole nuther set of appeals to argue
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they should give you those papers. i have a feeling i'm going to be receiving fbi files on paul and japan for -- and jane for years to come. i hope i don't find anything shocking. >> since they were such letter writers, did julia or paul ever write a letter to mccarthy? >> no. not that i know of. so it's possible. i wouldn't think so because they pretty much hated him on sight from the beginning and it only got worse. they wrote an awful lot of letters about him, though. there's reames and reames of sort of angry portions against him in the hers and diaries, and it's fascinating to read how it darkens from the 1940s through the hollywood ten when they watched the persecution of the artists and directors and actors in hollywood, and then he moved and set his sights on the state department. you see their fear and anxiety
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deepen and it's really compelling reading. >> thank you all so much for coming today. [applause] >> with the senate in recess, you can watch book tv every night in primetime with books on history, politics, selected after words programs from the first half of 2011. book tv every weekend on c-span 2. find out more online at >> in a few moments the editor in chief of the papers of george washington on his book "inventing george washington. " in an hour, a forum on the african-american vote in next year's election, and after that, the national association to accept fat seasonnance, calls for changeness the safe school
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act because of bullying because of weight and appearance. >> a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow morning.
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>> next, editor in chief of "the papers of george washington" he was written "inventing george washington." this is a little less than an hour. >> good afternoon, and thanks for coming. we at the washington papers are in the business of preserving and transcribing and publishing all of washington's letters, so you can imagine our surprise the number of years ago when we received a letter from george washington. [laughter] >> written to us. >> he was alive and living, where else, but in cincinnati. [laughter] >> actually, it was a gentleman who claimed to be the reincar nation of george washington who was eager and willing to offer
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us his help in understanding the great man's life. sometime after that, a group of very well-dressed individuals came into our office and our then-editor in chief, bill abbott, met with them, and they said they had some materials and information pertaining to george washington they'd be delighted to share with us and help us out. so they seemed to be very respectable, so he invited them in and sat down, and they placed themselves near the only exit to his office so he couldn't get out without passing them, and at that time they revealed they were spiritualists who had gotten in touch with washington's spirit and were in daily conversation. and willing to share information. again, about how washington lived and who he was. so on and so forth. so he had to sit there and listen to them for a while before they finally left. and a short time after that, i
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received an e-mail in my in box from a tabloid reporter in england, and he revealed that a number of volumes of washington's diaries, which had been thought lost, had been discovered in a scottish castle, and these diaries were particularly fascinating because they revealed what washington had done at valley forge and how he had really been able to get through that terrible winter encampment. he received aid from a strange and unknown source that there was a mysterious tribe of indians living in the for rest -- forests, and washington thought they were greenish and called them the green skins and they lived in a big aluminum teepee in the woods, this reporter concluded with good reason that space aliens helped
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washington to win the revolutionary war. thus my inspiration for this book. [laughter] >> it truly is amazing, working at the washington papers, on the one hand -- and i've been there for 15 years now -- and working with washington's letters, and getting to know how he lived, how he breathed day-to-day, what his everyday concerns were on the one hand, and on the other hand the constant barrage of queries and questions and information volunteered to us by the general public, and a lot of it is really very useful. there are people who are actually still discovering washington letters in their attics. there are people who have local information, who understand their local history, say, from alexandria, or fredericksberg or other areas where they really have information that can be very valuable to us.
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but on the other hand there are people who ask us questions like -- one person asked me, is it true that washington died in russia on an engineering expedition? or people we get a lot of queries from the press, and from others, asking about, did washington really say this? is it really true that washington said this? and there's so many washington quotations floating around now, and so many washington legends floating around now, especially on the internet, that it really intrigued me, where is all this stuff coming from? what about all these statements that washington supposedly said about politics, about religion, about morality, about everything you can imagine? what about these stories that he did or didn't do that thing. what about, for example, the story that is floating around now that he smoked marijuana? that he grew it at mount vernon
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and liked to smoked for relaxation? where is this coming from? so, it intrigued me, and of course we all know the stories of parson weems, the cherry tree story, and now heres these modern stories, and how do we create a link? what does it mean about us and our relationship with george washington? washington died on december 14, 1799. and to us it seems like -- this is a victorian rendition, mid-19th century rendition of it -- it seems like a very peaceful scene, actually. there's a gentle sadness about it. it seems like he died peacefully at mount vernon, and americans shed a few collective tears. the great man has passed. and we are now going to move on
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and live by his example. actually, it was for most americans a wrenching emotional moment. it was an event that cast us into a state of anguish. we were mortified. we were terrified, what's going to happen now? the great man has passed away. we're on the cusp of a new century. into the 1800s. we are at war. a lot of people don't realize that when washington died, he was in active military service as the commander in the field of our armed forces. when we were expecting at any moment we might be invaded. by france. there was period called the quasiwar. it was an undeclared war between the united states and france, and there was this fear that the
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french were going to invade to impose their will, and remember, this is really only a short time after the revolutionary war. less than 20 years. most americans could remember what war was like, and here it might come again. washington had been put by president john adams in charge of the army, and washington left a lot of the day-to-day business in alexander hamilton's care. still, he's the man. at every moment, at every crisis in our history, we had turned to george washington. so when he died, this wave of emotion swept across the country as news began to spread very slowly across the country and americans learned that washington was gone. there was this outpouring of grief and public memorials and eulogies, remembering washington and who he was, and thinking about his example to us. ...
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the return of george washington, and thus our friend par -- parson weems. he'd known george washington briefly in the 70's and had been a visitor not mount vernon and married into a branch of the family, and he had a kind of -- he was one of the many people who walked through mount vernon
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and drove them crazy when they were alive because there were so many visitors coming so she was one of them. so right after george washington dies, mason weems rights to his publisher in philadelphia and he says washington has just died. millions of people large gaping to read something about him. we can make a lot of money. that is what he immediately saw come and parson weems, i will keep calling him parson weems just to be nice to him, parson weems saw the dollar bill in the washington long before washington was on the dollar will. [laughter] i'm glad you like that. i made it up myself. [laughter] but he did. he was in this for the money. he was in this to make gobs of money but he also to give him credit he wanted to bring washington to everyday
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americans. right after washington died, there were a number of biographies of washington that were published the best known by george marshall -- john marshall you can still get now. it's available, but was a huge ponders biography. john adams compared it to a mausoleum. [laughter] it's very dull, hard to get through, and it created a washington who's a very distant, who is that man of marvel, that statute, that image. the genius of parson weems was he understood the was not enough. the statute was not enough. the painting, the image, the face was not enough. washington needed to be real for us. he needed to bring washington to schoolchildren, to grandparents, to farmers, pioneers, workers, to everybody.
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the best way he knew to do that was to tell a series of anecdotes about george the would make him into a real human being and make him into somebody the devotee could feel they could shake his hand and looked nti and tell him their stories and george washington would understand. it's almost as if they can feel i'm a farmer, i want to tell george washington to share with him what it's like for me to be a farmer, what it's like to tell phil land, what it's like to raise children on a form three all of my struggles and george washington would be just like me. he would say yes, i am stand. it created a sense of connection not just with washington, but with the country to make people feel that they were truly citizens of this country. so parson weems tells these stories and they are very
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gentle, very easygoing. you get this feeling of love that flows through so george washington and his father, george is a little boy walking with his father and talking about the beauty of the trees and plants and the creation d.c. about them, and they come across this package, this cabbage patch and george looks at the cabbage and he says wow, the cabbage have sprouted and they say the name george washington and his father had planted them that way and so the father goes on to say let's talk about the creator. let's talk about where we come from. and again, it is a very gentle. he's not wagging his finger and swatting at him and telling him what to think. she is inspiring him to think. and the cherry tree story is the same thing. it's a very gentle story about
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george washington learning the lesson of truthfulness. this painting that you see here is a satire created by a man named grant wood in the 1930's. it's called parson weems's table. this is a very different era and as you can see. it was a very cynical era, and it was a time when americans were tended to look back on these legends with a lot of contempt and cynicism. and so he shows parson weems pulling back the curtain and seen a father talking to the boy and of course he has this ridiculous head of an old man. [laughter] but the other element that's here that is unusual is the sleeves in the background. and again, slaves were in visible really in the time after
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washington's death in the 19th century. people didn't talk about them in the context of george washington's wife, and it wasn't really until the 1920's and 1930's people began to see look, here's this other aspect a few washington was and must take a hard look at this and what this means. as of the painting of parson weems's sable has the same time that satirical element that is also a very serious element to it, too. there's a time of reappraising from who washington was coming and i will get back to that in a moment. one of the things that helped weems to be so successful in his followers in the 19th century in creating these stories and these images of george washington was the tragedy of what happened to washington's papers. now when george washington was alive, he had fought very seriously about the value of the
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papers. he called them -- this is a direct quotation, a species of public property secret in my hands. when he was on his deathbed, and his last words he asked that his will be brought out. he wanted to know that martha was going to be taken care of but almost his last words were do you have record and preserve my papers? they were very important to him. after she died, the first thing that happened is that martha burned the correspondence. there were only a few letters left, and there are three of them i discovered a fourth i will talk about in a moment. but all the arrests were burned. there were two things. one is that this was common at that time and these big planner family is that when one of them died the other one of one-third of their correspondence as a way
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of maintaining privacy but i think that martha also wanted to feel there was one part of george she would keep to herself because she had given him to the public, to the country throughout his life she let him go to serve the nation, and i think that she was feeling in some part of the mind this is one piece of my husband that i will always keep for myself in many cases the letters are gone the worst thing after martha died in the t-note to the descendants of the washington family beginning with washington and going down through the years were careless about the papers, and they let pretty much anybody who wanted to come in and carry off any of letters they wanted. the hand them out to friends, they give them to people who were writing biographies of
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washington, and in particular, my arch villain, jared sparks, who was a historian from harvard, and he wanted to write the first submission of the writings of george washington and would only be selected letters that he wanted to write a biography and he believed washington was a great man, the greatest man who ever lived. as he went to mount vernon and asked can i have piles and piles of washington's letters come to come up to boston and i promise i will give them back, stultz honor. will he didn't. a few years later he gave back a portion of what he had taken and he kept the rest, thus several volumes of washington's diaries have indeed disappeared. and are lost forever unless some have turned up in the scottish castle. there were many other letters that were scattered all over the country and all over the world. many of them were destroyed.
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we still find some that we have records in the 19th century so many people looking at them they literally fell apart. even now people are selling letters on ebay. there is an unfortunate tendency somehow unscrupulous manuscript dealer's think again earn more money if the capital seven to three word sections. sell each of them for a couple thousand dollars and again, these letters are lost forever. so we have a lot to thank jared sparks and his friends for. the washington papers were deposited in the library of congress but there was only a portion of the original, and we found letters all over the world as far away as russia and japan and in private homes all over the country. use of the other george washington letter before. this looks like washington, but
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it isn't. this is a forgery by a man named robert spurring. the lots of washington's letters made it easy to create a new washington because the document was scattered. it was no longer there. but another thing that it enabled was the growth of forgeries. i mentioned nason weems as being the one who saw the dollar bill in george washington. there were many who followed. in the 1830's and 1840's, george washington letters and founding fathers letters became big business. people still have this year ending to touch them and feel of the founders and feel that they were there and there is this craze to own a piece of washington and washington's legacy so there will be lockets of his hair spreading around and you think if all of these are authentic he probably had a huge
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main rather than just a regular head of hair, all this stuff but people were very interested in getting letters, washington letters. it wasn't long before the over journal letters became very hard to find and expensive so robert and his friends and scrupulous forgers and hucksters decided i can just copy washington's handwriting, make some kind of in significant note and select. they did the same thing with franklin later on in the 19th century, they did with robert e. lee and with everybody. and so these forgeries are still floating all over the country. worse for people who exploited others in the name of making money off of george washington. and the first of those was p.t. barnum. a lot of people don't realize
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p.t. barnum made his name, made his original fortune off of george washington. but he did in the 1830's is he won off to kentucky and found an elderly slave named joyce have. he bought her and brought her back to the east coast and coached her, told her you are now 161-years-old. and you were george washington's nanny, and you're going to get up on stage and in new york city and philadelphia and other major cities and you were going to talk about what it was like to be with george on the farm in mount vernon so he coached her with stories like the cherry tree and other stories from parson weems, put her on stage and then had her give her should be all over and over. she worked her 12 hours a day,
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16 hours a day up to 20 hours a day. eventually she began to break down and collapse. people would come in, he would have her in a room, kids would come down and start walking her and try to get her up stet where she would start cursing and eventually completely broken down and she died. that wasn't enough for a hour good friend, p.t. barnum. he knew people were talking about how she was a hoekstra that none of this had actually happened, so he had her put on stage, her body and had a doctor dissect her publicly. and knowing very well the doctor was meant to see was she really 161-years-old, the doctor dissected her and proclaimed know, she was only in her eighties to be devotee started yelling and hollering and p.t. barnum was joking and laughing with the rest of them. he thought it was hilarious. to move on to a somewhat more
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pleasant subject, sally fairfax. in the 19th century, in the mid-19th century and up to the late 19th century, publishers began to understand the feminine market for books that women love to read and books that were written appealing specifically to the women as to the interest. americans again women just like men are very interested in the founder and want to understand him and feel like he could sympathize with them. so the interest developed in washington's life. chief among these interests was sally fairfax. now sally fairfax was a member of the wealthiest and most powerful families in virginia,
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the fairfax family. she was married to one of washington's best friends. well, it was rumored that georgia and sally had some kind of an affair, and in fact there was a letter that popped up that washington had written to sally just before he married martha, and he recalls a thousand tender passages that pass between house and passed. and some people were really fascinated by this. and scandalized and they began to develop the story is that washington was a really ladies' man and that before he married martha and after he married martha she had all these affairs, all of these love affairs and he became really a very fascinating romantic figure. the other ingalls to that is what happened to martha to read what happened to her image in the 19th century.
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martha became the stereotypical victorian grandmother. worse than that people began to claim she was ugly, she was grouchy, she was always nagging george, she was stupid, she was a terrible, terrible and the george couldn't stand her she only married her for money but sought solace in the arms of other women such as sally fairfax. none of these stories were true. it may well be before george got married to martha he had some episodes with other women and they had a dalliance with sally before he got married to martha but there's not one scud of evidence he was ever on faithful to martha during their life during their married life together.
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all the evidence shows to the contrary first all when they got married yes, martelle was wealthy but she was also a beautiful young woman, a widow but still a beautiful young woman. yet she was not formally educated but she was still very intelligent and the even more during their life together, they began to depend on each other. and as you see through the revolutionary war, that every crisis moment of the revolution, places like dolly forge, george needed martha to be there, and she came and shared much of the world with him. martha's letters in some ways more fed it herself a disservice because the loss of her letters that people to speculate what was going on behind the scenes and found a number of years ago fourth letter the retreat known to survive.
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there was a note written during the revolutionary war met on the back of a letter from us that child to george and on the back was a note and the note said my love i wrote to you in my last letter about the silver cup that i purchased and here is what weighed. seems like an insignificant little note, nobody had paid attention to it but my left in this casual note in treatment and we found out as martha's handwriting to georgia casual moment about an everyday thing and calling him my left and the did true love each other. the other aspect of washington in the 19th century that growth was the image of a pious washington. the image of a christian
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washington. this was important to people even immediately after washington died and parson would talk about washington and talk about him as being an outstanding christian man who's an example to the nation. in the mid-19th century in the late 19th century which is a very pious time when americans felt very seriously and strongly about their faith and religion and they also felt passionately about george washington, he was almost inevitable that the two with connect and that the image of washington as a pious christian, the man who craved daily would be compelling to people but as a part of this need, part of the passion that need to believe that this was true inevitably also slipped in because people wanted to believe
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them. the image of washington playing in the snow at the laforge was originated by parson weems in one of the leader additions to the biography of washington. there's a story that when washington was at valley forge a quaker named isaac potts had happened upon washington out in the lives and she'd seen him kneeling in the snow and praying for deliverance for his army and that the squeaker who before this had been completely natural in the revolutionary war he hadn't wanted to take sides that he was inspired by this not only in his own religious faith, but also he decided if a man like this can be in his knees and pray in the snow for this cause it must be a good cause. so he became converted to the revolutionary cause. this is a story that parson
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weems made a very compelling but it was a story that evolved over time and new versions of it developed and new stories developed. and so all kind of dozens, hundreds of stories entered into our folklore of washington getting discovered in prayer. this is the newest and most popular rendition of washington kneeling in the snow at jolie for java and i can give a whole lecture about how that image of washington kneeling in the snow developed over time. now the truth is there's no evidence for this ever happening for washington kneeling in the snow, but that hasn't stopped it for being a powerful image. president ronald reagan left to refer to this. he said the image of washington kneeling in the snow at valley forge is the most sublime an edge in our nation's history. so, more and more stories develop.
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there is a story that got to the point of being a rather ridiculous there is a story of washington praying in his tent during the revolutionary war and it was a very special time for him. everybody knew don't bother the general when he is praying. well, nathaniel greene much to his sorrow blundered into the tent george washington stood up and fired his pistol at him. fortunately he missed, but nathaniel greene was terrified and ran away and didn't ever bother him at prayer again. and this was the story that spread through the 19th century many people believed it to be another story the was very popular and developed in the story of george washington's that some. this is again the story that there was no solid evidence that anything like this happened but it developed and gather strength for the time and the 19th century people passionately wanted to believe it and they spoke about washington first being baptized.
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the original story was that this happened at all the forge. in the winter at valley forge. [laughter] that washington went to parson and said i've been convinced of the truth of god's word and i would like you to baptize me in the water. and of course like many stories of this type, washington usually says now this has got to be private. i don't want anybody to see this. so there are no witnesses. but is supposedly happened. i like to imagine what it was like really going into the river and in january of 1778 climbing out. the story later developed and changed and it was shifted to a somewhat warmer location and the potomac river. he said he was baptized there. this is the reverend who supposedly it did it but then i was moved north again and somebody said no, it was in hudson. [laughter] all of these reflect, again, a
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powerful and passionate need to feel that washington was one of us. if we are believing christians and we believe in our nation, there is this powerful need to believe that washington was with us, that he would understand come he would support us. and now this image of washington a christian has become a compelling. there are quotes that gwen becker likes to use and sean hannity that washington supposedly said it is impossible rightly to govern the world without a dog in the bible, and this quotation is all over the place, you can find it on the internet there's no evidence washington ever said or wrote it and was most likely made up in the 19th century by somebody else. but again, there's this need to believe it. now, what was washington, was he a christian, what did he really believe is a very difficult question to answer to be to weaken the surgeon on the one
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hand he was not an atheist. he was not a deist, he was also on the a forehand not an evangelical christian. he was not powerful the interested in the theology and the forms of christian religion to be heated to church but he was careful not to take communion and not to kneel. why he felt that we we don't know. he didn't mention jesus christ and his correspondence, and he didn't talk about on his deathbed. i believe he was a very moral man, very virtuous man. he was influenced by the stokes and he took his feelings about morality very seriously. and indeed, if you had asked him are you christian, he might well have said yes. but his sense of christianity is very difficult to get ahold of. we just know it wasn't on one of the extremes.
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>> welcome that is a very powerful image of washington and this is another powerful image of washington. [laughter] developing in the late 19th century the early 20th century is the washington lithology gathers strength and develops in the centennial in 1876 of the revolution, the declaration of independence and beyond that. americans became fascinated with historic homes and historic buildings. well, now you know if you own a restaurant or if you owned the historic in or bed-and-breakfast there is one thing you need to succeed you have to have a ghost. in the 19th century you have to have george washington, you have to say that washington slept here. it became a very kind of powerful tourist attraction so people all over the country and in these old buildings would put washington slept here in the
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windows and sure enough it attracted people. they get to the point they would handle souvenirs and the acclaim after washington tumbled out of bed that morning in the revolutionary war they couldn't bring themselves to make the bed again savitt closed-end tumbled and everything and said this is how they loved it. they also enjoyed displeasing washington's chamber pots. [laughter] they were a little bit more coy about that, but they did do it. it got to the point in the early 20th century that the washington media became washington got out of control. washington cigar wrappers and washington apples, washington ceremonial hatchets that he shot down a cherry tree with supposedly. it's all over the place. inevitably there is a reaction to it after the first world war
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moving into the 1920's and 1930's it's a different time from the 1800's. it's a time when people believe they needed to overturn the old ways of thinking, the old ways of doing things and patriotism and abroad and world war i has shown and the payment lead to destruction we have defined a new way. in the 1920's in america people began to feel that washington was part of that old way. and then entered robert hughes shown here rupert was a hollywood mogul and author and with another man named w. a. woodward decided they would keep on washington as being thpresentative of the old ways


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